Confessions of a drinker student abroad

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reunion Tour

Wow, crazy weekend. Stenger got in last thursday, that night was an epic walkabout session. Friday, since I had no lectures, we went up to the Beacons. Sadly the distillery was pretty much shut down for the winter, but it was nice to get out of th city and see some other parts of Wales. Once we got back from the Beacons we hit up the Mackintosh for dinner, then up to the SC for some pool. Saturday was equally as epic, went out for a full English before catching the train down to Cardiff City stadium to watch the Bluebirds. It was a great time, stood outside in the walkways drinking beer and watching the second half of the Manchester Derby, Rooney's goal to win was the most amazing thing in the history of amazing things, then back to our seats for the CC match.

Overall the match was kind of boring, until the 80th minute when everyone decided to play, at that point it was a given Cardiff would win, even though it was 0-0, just cause they were always on the press. Then, in the 85th minute a long cross was headed back in to the box by Parkin, then finished off by a name I don't remember to put the Bluebirds ahead. Even better, we were three rows off the pitch, directly behind the goal where it happened, seats don't get better than that when purchased night before a match.

Sunday dawned rainy and cold, surprising for Wales yeah? Still, we headed out to Llanrumney to show those Bath Spa boys what was what, when we got out there, it was even worse, lashing rain beat on us as we warmed up, every one of us was soaked to the bone by the time the game started, the pitch was an absolute mess, 4 inches deep in mud. We then proceeded to beat them like a dead horse in a Godfather movie...which is an unfair assessment of their ability and heart. Playing against one of the biggest and meanest teams in the league in horrible conditions. We specialized in power running, they in finesse and speed, both of which were negated by the mud. In spite of it all they were a classy bunch of lads, also, one of their players had the sweetest high-top fade and headphones, straight outta '92.

Monday...coursework, followed by 2.5 hours or so up in the pub shooting pool, which was a nice relaxing evening, except for the absolute exhaustion both of us were feeling.

Tuesday we went to lunch in town, then down to the Castle for a bit of tourism. It was cool, walking down stone corridors that had been in existence since before anyone went to America was kind of spooky. The empty beam pockets in the keep showed than instead of a hollow cylinder it had once held a great hall and many other rooms. A grand place of roaring fired and heavily laden tables. You could almost hear the ghosts of the old soldiers when you walked along the battlements. After we toured most of it, we went down to the Welsh Dragoons museum. It was just a little place, detailing the role of the Welsh Guards in the British Army throughout the years, down there though we ran into an older gentleman who worked there. He showed us the place where you could try on old uniforms, and even offered to take pictures of all of us. Then he would randomly pop up and chat to us about something we were looking at, telling us all about the American flag hanging there from the battle at Ft. Detroit in the War of 1812. The story of how the goat came to be the battalion mascot. I finally asked him if he had served, turns out he had, 11 years and change he had been in the Guards. He pointed to an old painting and started naming the people in it, personal friends of his. He told us about the other lads he had grown up with, first in reform school, then as drummer boys in the Guards, then as soldiers, and how they meet every year for a few pints. Sadly the museum had closed while we spoke, so eventually we had to leave, ducking under the barriers to get out.

And so ended the weekend, last night I had training, and Ben had to catch a train to the airport. It's back to real life for a while, but hopefully soon I'll be heading off again to see something else new and unexpected. Until then, sleep and work, and as usual I'll try to tell you a story or two.


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